World-class trombonists to perform at Delta State

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, College of Arts and Sciences, Community | No Comments

The Department of Music is proud to announce Slidin’ in the Delta 2018! — Delta State’s Trombone Day. The event will be held on campus April 7 beginning at 11:30 a.m., and includes two free concert performances by world-renowned guest artists.

The featured guests for the day-long event will be Scott Hartman, professor of trombone at Yale University, and the United States Military Academy Trombone Quartet, featuring members of the United States Army Band – West Point.

As part of the festival, both guest artists will be performing solo recitals. The trombone quartet will be performing a recital at 11:30 a.m. and Hartman will perform a trombone recital at 3:30 pm. Both performances will take place in the Recital Hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.

The quartet will perform works by Hornoff, Bach, Reifenberg, Rossini and Wilder, among others.

Hartman’s performance will feature selections by Hahn, Quilter, Jongen, Shewan, Piazzolla, Da Silva and Nestico.

The recitals are free and open to the public. For more information, contact 662-846-4615.

TFA Graduate Fellows partner with Rosedale Freedom Project

By | Teach for America, Uncategorized | No Comments

The TFA Graduate Fellows Program at Delta State University partnered with the Rosedale Freedom Project to host a Spring Service Day in the organization’s garden on March 24.

For the the day of service, participating volunteers seeded over 100 plants, weeded the RFP Freedom Garden and built three raised beds.

“It was a truly special experience to have volunteers spend their Saturday helping serve alongside other people who are committed to the betterment of Mississippi,” said Lucas Rapisarda a fellow who works with the RFP.

The TFA Graduate Fellows Program is a two-year fellowship program at Delta State offered to Teach For America alumni, with the goal of retaining TFA alumni in Mississippi.

During the fellowship, selected fellows work to design and implement social entrepreneurship projects to find solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing Mississippi. Each year, the program hosts three service says across the state. Each opportunity is open to TFA Fellows, stakeholders, community members and students. Service says offer the chance to actively support nonprofits by donating time to the community and a showing a willingness to work for the betterment of others.

For more information on service opportunities and the TFA Graduate Fellows Program, visit or find the program on Instagram @tfafellows and Facebook.

The program is funded through a grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. The principal goal of the foundation is to contribute to the overall economic advancement of the state of Mississippi by making funds available to four-year colleges and universities and graduate professional schools located in the state.

Wang receives INBRE research grant

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Delta State University’s newest faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences has hit the ground running with $50,000 Research Development Grant funded by Mississippi IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE).

A graduate of Iowa State University, Dr. Dafang Faith Wang brings a wealth of knowledge, a background of research and a love of teaching to Delta State University.

“Thanks to Mississippi INBRE funding [Wang] will continue her research on epigenetic silencing in maize here at Delta State, providing an opportunity for our students to learn the most up-to-date techniques in genetics, molecular biology and bioinformatics,” said Dr. Ellen Green, chair and associate professor of biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at Delta State.

Mississippi INBRE Research Development Grants are designed to support innovative basic or translational biomedical research. The grant will allow Wang to build effective lab space, continue her research and train students.

“Wang is a bright and promising scientist that adds to our pool of biomedical researchers in Mississippi,” said Dr. Mohamed Elasri, director of Mississippi INBRE. “This has been a great instance of our partnership between Mississippi INBRE and DSU. The overall goal of this partnership is to improve the competitiveness of Mississippi in health-related research.”

In only her second semester of teaching, she has taken on three courses, general biology, genetics and plant physiology. Her background and continued research will allow her to train students to work at the cutting edge of science.

“I love to teach and to communicate with students,” said Wang. “I get excited when I see the students understand the concept and solve a problem. That is my biggest motivation.”

Mississippi INBRE is a statewide program that is supported by an award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Its mission is to enhance the biomedical foundation in Mississippi and to reach out to Mississippians in order to improve health throughout the state.

Mississippi INBRE seeks to engage talented researchers and students in biomedical research projects that will increase the state’s research competitiveness as well as impact the health of citizens of Mississippi.

For more information about Mississippi INBRE, visit

Learn more about biology opportunities at Delta State at

Delta Center hosts state and national student groups

By | Delta Center | No Comments
Lens Collective students and faculty mentors at the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden in Ruleville with Delta Center staff members Dr. Rolando Herts and Lee Aylward.



The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State recently hosted student groups visiting the Mississippi Delta from various universities. Students traveled to the region to experience, and in some cases document, the nationally-significant history and culture of the Delta.

Groups included students from Yale University, Mississippi State University, and Harvard Law School.

Yale and Mississippi State students visiting Taborian Hospital in Mound Bayou.

For a second consecutive year, The Delta Center also partnered with the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media to host Lens Collective. This multimedia storytelling workshop engaged over 50 photojournalism students and award-winning faculty mentors in documenting Mississippi Delta civil rights heritage stories. Students traveled to the Delta from eight universities including Arkansas State, American University, Jackson State, Middle Tennessee State, Ohio University, Penn State, University of Mississippi and West Virginia University.

For all the student groups, The Delta Center provided an overview of its various educational and community engagement programs, as well as an introduction to the region’s history. The students visited significant cultural heritage landmarks including Dockery Farms in Sunflower County, the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden in Ruleville, and the historic black town of Mound Bayou.

The Lens Collective featured a Delta soul food experience at The Senator’s Place restaurant in Cleveland. Students, mentors, and Mississippi Delta-based storytellers broke bread and met restaurant owner Senator Willie Simmons, a supporter of cultural heritage tourism in the region. Indianola native Charles McLaurin, a foot-soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, shared stories about working alongside Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The event was supported by the Amzie Moore/Sam Block Fund established by Watt Bishop and administered by The Delta Center.

A selection of Lens Collective civil rights documentary shorts will be screened at Delta State on April 4 as part of Civil Rides, a rural poverty and racial justice awareness event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event will take place at 6 p.m. in the Baioni Conference Center. For more information about Lens Collective, visit

Harvard Law School students visiting the Cast of Blues exhibit at The Delta Center.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area and is the home of the International Delta Blues Project. For more information, visit

McNair scholars attend national conference

By | Academics, Graduate and Continuing Studies, Students | No Comments
Left to right: Charles Walker, Porsche Chambers, Ashley Griffin, Syed Mohammed Amanuddin and Bria Goodson.


Several McNair Research Scholars at Delta State University attended the 19th National Conference for McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland from March 14-18.

The scholars in attendance were Charles Walker, Porsche Chambers, Ashley Griffin, Syed Mohammed Amanuddin and Bria Goodson. The students participated in a guided campus walking tour of the University of Maryland and of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The scholars attended scholarly activities and workshops that discussed research topics, stress in college, identifying graduate schools and scholarships, and effective public speaking strategies. They also listened and judged other McNair Scholar’s oral and poster presentations. In addition, they participated in a graduate school fair.

There were 51 other institutions present from around the country, with Delta State being the only group from Mississippi.

Wendolyn Stevens, McNair Research Scholars program director at Delta State, also attended the conference.

“Overall, the trip was a great experience,” said Stevens. “We learned from other scholars, program directors and presenters. It was great connecting and seeing other student research.”

Syed Mohammed Amanuddin also enjoyed the opportunity.

“This year, I had a great experience attending the McNair Conference at University of Maryland. This conference gave me the opportunity to network with some of the greatest and smartest scholars all over the nation. Attending different sessions and workshops offered me the opportunity to extend my horizon in research techniques, applying for grad school, and to learn more about different masters and doctoral programs I never knew existed.”

“Some of the keynote speakers were really inspiring and motivated me in several ways to push myself further and work harder to achieve my goals in life,” he added. “I believe this trip to Maryland has prepared me more for my future journey in higher education than I was before. Along with scholarly activities, the conference also offered us an opportunity to explore the beauty of D.C. and know more about its heritage. Overall, the conference was a complete package of entertainment and learning. I am excited to attend in 2019 and hopefully present my research, and share my thoughts and ideas with some of the great minds in the country.”

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was established in memory of astronaut-physicist and Challenger crewmember Ronald E. McNair. The program is administered through Delta State University’s Office of Graduate & Continuing Studies. McNair is one of eight TRiO programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The goal is to increase the attainment of doctoral degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society.